Librarianship as a profession | By Abid Hussain


Librarianship as a profession

FIVE attributes are generally associated with accounting, engineering, law, medicine, etc. All these attributes make a profession.A subject and discipline which do not follow these attributes cannot be considered a profession.

Coming into librarianship as a profession, a few attributes with several examples define librarianship as a profession.

Every profession requires a unique body of knowledge, the body of knowledge relies on principles and concepts.

This body of knowledge should be codified and documented which should be learned through formal education like colleges, universities, similar institutions, etc.

Most professions teach this accumulative knowledge at professional school or college levels.

For example, a person who wants to become a lawyer will join a law school; an engineer should become a professional engineer when he processed by taking admission in some professional schools.

Librarians can become a professional when they are admitted to library schools.All professions enroll in a teaching school to earn a degree to step into any profession.

They might get a degree at the graduate and post-graduate level to become a professional.The second trait to become a professional is the standard of entry.

There should be a minimum standard to enter the profession, which implies progression in a career.Simply it is a place from which a career path begins.It should have an accepted route to enter into a career.

This involved formal education to an academic entry, experience in the concerned field, apprenticeship program and test score, etc.

To become a recognized professional, one should follow this standard entry.In the library field, it is library schools, institutions and internship programs entering this field.

The third attribute to become a professional in any field is the service code of ethics.

It means an ethical standard or a code of ethics in the profession.It is appropriate behaviour, attitude towards the people whom you serve.

It also provides the rule of self-policing toward unethical behaviour.It teaches us the legal controls of your career.

While entering any field as a profession, one should adopt these ethical behaviours.Library students should be interested in the service code of ethics before entering into this profession.

The fourth existing principle to become a professional is the service orientation in a community.

It reflects an attitude that directs a person to commit to bettering the profession.It requires time, money, energy and convention to promote the profession.

One should avoid self-interest to make a profession better.The person should also try to contribute to the existing body of knowledge by publishing ideas and projecting their professional knowledge better.

Professional commitment in this regard will be stronger than an employer.Nobody will violate the professional norms and leave their employing organization rather than violate the professional standards of practices or ethics.

Librarians should attend continuing education programs to uplift this profession.The last attribute to becoming a professional is the sanctioning organization.

It evolves the authenticating body or sanctioning organization.It is also a self-policing agency that sets standards in the profession.

It includes theoretical concepts which lead a person to be a good researcher and living legend in that field.

Here a person should learn through continuous education.He should also develop their career by attending certificate programs, an organization to raise their voices.

In this stage, people should learn from the existing body of knowledge, consult with peers and publish research in changing technology and environmental opportunities.

The librarians, in this regard, will project their field.Here they will initiate ideas through research and similar projects.

Such sanctioning in organization will help them prove librarianship as a profession.These few guiding principles have defined profession; albeit, many of us do not know what a profession is?

However, we all are engaged in some profession; we do not know how to gauge a profession.

Reading this article will give insight regarding attributes and traits to gauge a profession. This scribe is quite optimistic that this short article will clear your perception about the profession.

—The writer is working as Library Officer in Institute of Strategic Studies, a think-think based in Islamabad.


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